Now Bill Cosby weighs in on Carter's side of race issue

Conservatives, who've often lauded the comedian's takes on race, aren't likely to enjoy this one so much

Published September 16, 2009 11:45PM (EDT)

Comedian Bill Cosby has gotten a lot of praise on the right for his fairly conservative take on race and racial relations in the U.S. recently. And he hasn't been afraid to take on President Obama on those issues, either; after Obama said police had acted "stupidly" in arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Cosby said he was "shocked."

Conservatives aren't likely to enjoy Cosby's latest statement about race quite so much. On his Facebook page, the comedian had this to say about former President Carter's allegation that racism is behind much of the animosity towards Obama, and about Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.:

I agree with President Carter that racism is playing a role in recent outbursts against President Obama. During President Obama’s speech on the status of health care reform, some members of congress engaged in a public display of disrespect. While one Representative hurled the now infamous “you lie” insult at the President, others made their lack of interest known by exhibiting rude behavior such as deliberately yawning and sending text messages ....

Various polls prior to the election indicated that between five and ten percent of Americans would never vote for an African American president. That number, of course, only includes those who actually admitted to their prejudice. How many others harbored such feelings but did not respond honestly when asked the question? And how many people oppose Obama’s plan because the President is African American?

In "Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith used white actors in black face to portray black legislators as having low intelligence and acting like fools. Today, we have a band of real life congressional fools seemingly bent on blocking any meaningful reform of the health care system. But if we allow even one American to die simply because he or she cannot afford treatment, we are creating a shameful scenario that could aptly be called “Death of a Nation.”

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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